by Loosey Parsuns
On March 25, 2012 at 11am we assembled at Victoria station and gathered. Those among the group were members of Fem Cells, Alarm, Sol Fed, students and sympathizers to the cause. We made our way to Westminster cathedral (the catholic church) and got our banner out ‘’stop praying our on bodies, ritualized patriarchy kills women’’. Our message was loud and clear as we chanted ‘’our bodies, our rights’’ and ‘’we give life, we decide!’’ also my personal favorite ‘’not the church, not the state, women will decide their fate!’’
Stating we didn’t receive a warm welcome from those coming in and out of Sunday Mass is an understatement (one woman walked right in front of us and knelt. Prayed for ‘our sins’ presumably). But we made it clear it was no more appropriate to be standing there as it was for the ‘40 Days for Life’ pro life religious group to be protesting outside abortion clinics which they’ve started to do, intimidating women. We do not want to return to a time when women were forced to get unsafe back street abortions in this country. As progressives we should strike a blow to all those nutters all around the world that think its their business what we do with our bodies. It’s not on! Appealing to people’s sensitivities and using emotional blackmail because they want to appease a God that is a myth which belongs in the past not in our future. So I urge you that the threat is not over and on Friday the 30th of March Bishop of Westminster Alan Hopes will be visiting the 40 Days of Life Anti-Abortion Vigil outside Bedford Square Medical Centre. 40 Days of Life have been holding prayer vigils outside the clinic for the last 30 days and attempting to stop women entering the clinic. It’s important that we do not ignore these attempts to take away essential and often life-saving services. Check out Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance and also FemCells for more information.
We are calling for all women everywhere to have free access to safe services in that difficult time in their life. The religious should keep their nose out! And we will keep coming out as long as they do. We women deserve freedom and dignity and this issue serves to reflect the bigotry women face day in day out. And the control over our bodies belongs to us. Women have abortions for many different reasons, rape is one of them. The hate towards women is entrenched in blood but we will keep fighting for what’s right. Even if others don’t like it!